Chef Manlee Siu: Inspiring Others Inside and Outside of the Kitchen
I stopped by the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa last week for the very first time. This 42,000 square foot estate is magical to say the least. It has a quintessential balance of old world Florida charm meets modern elegance. The building is grandiose and makes it presence known as you approach this distinguished ocean-front property. As you walk through the hotel, you immediately feel relaxed by the hospitable staff, well-decorated surroundings, and the big, beautiful waves of the ocean. I'm not sure if the decorations and lights from the Christmas tree and ornaments influenced the atmosphere, but the resort felt majestic.
At the forefront of this hotel, to the left of the front entrance, is "Angle." "Angle" is the hotel's signature restaurant for fine dining. The restaurant offers an amazing experience from start to finish. Each meal is meticulously cared for by its renowned chef, Chef Manlee Siu. She personally visits local farms to hand pick the ingredients for each entree. It is so refreshing to know that there are still chefs that care about where our food is coming from and how it is cared for at the farm. There is no doubt in my mind that the fresh pickings that Chef Siu embarks on each week makes a tremendous difference in the remarkable taste in her meals. Chef Siu, is not traditional in any way or form. She visits each table during dinner and leaves a piece of her heart with each guest. As we discussed the freshness involved in her fruits and vegetables. She told me that I had to taste how sweet the tomatoes are from the local farm that she uses. Chef Sui explained that the tomatoes haven't been chemically treated, picked too early, or transported for miles. I accepted her offer, but I thought to myself, "How different can these tomatoes really taste?" When she brought them out, my mind was blown away. I have never tasted tomatoes so sweet in my life! Honestly, the tomatoes could of been dessert!
Unlike most chefs, Chef Siu didn't innately know that she wanted to be a chef from birth. As a child, she actually dreaded working in the kitchen with her mother at times. She often thought that it was unfair when she had to help her mother dry and pickle the fruits/vegetables, while her siblings were outside playing. Culinary Arts were so far from Chef Siu's mind that she earned her Bachelor's degree in Economics at the University of California. However, life has a peculiar way of pulling you towards your destiny because Chef Siu ended up working in her family's restaurant for ten years. She handled the daily operations, but slowly found herself in the kitchen more and more each year. After awakening her love for the culinary arts, she returned to school to study at Le Cordon Bleu.
Upon leaving Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Siu continued to practice her art. She eventually moved on to a few restaurants, where she received high praises and culinary recognition. Chef Siu joined the culinary team at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa along with Executive Chef Josh Thomsen in 2014.
The food at "Angle" is fine dining at its best. Each plate has been thoughtfully prepared with the harmonious blends of seasonings and textures. You'll feel like your tongue is on an adventure! Nothing beats great food, except the reassurance of knowing that the chef in the kitchen has your best interest at heart. I was thoroughly impressed with Chef Siu. She shares her path with her guests and unknowingly inspires others to follow their dreams; even if it's not the path that they thought they would be on. Life has a way of preparing you for the path unknown. Make sure that you stop by "Angle" to have an amazing dinner, but don't forget to ask to meet Chef Siu! "Angle" is located in the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, at 100 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, FL 33462.
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